Thursday, April 18, 2013

Oz - The Great and Powerful Movie

Since I grew up telling everyone that my favorite movie of all time was The Wizard of Oz (1939), I thoroughly enjoyed watching this prequel, Oz the Great and Powerful, and I'm happy that I caught it on the big screen.

This movie tells the story of how the Wizard made it to Oz.  If you know the original 1939 version, then you can probably guess how this movie ends.  That is, you know beforehand that the Wizard is going to be stuck there.

As the trailer shows, the director, Raimi, went to great lengths to match the feel of its predecessor.  The sets look similar.  The music is similar.  Even the plot lines are mostly consistent.  As such, I would expect most 1939 fans to enjoy this film the same as I did.

Just like in the original, the first part is in black and white, and in the original 4:3 aspect ratio.  But when they hit Oz ... watch out!  The color fades in and the screen moves to widescreen.  It was a pretty cool effect.  And as expected, "minor" characters in the beginning reappear as "major" characters later on.  So, this movie also has the possible interpretation of "the Wizard just bonked his head and went crazy cuckoo."  Only, in this version he doesn't wake up!  Oh no!

I missed seeing it in 3-D.  The reason is that when I checked Real or Fake 3D, I saw "The Wizard of Oz" listed as being "fake," but that's a totally different movie.  Oz the Great and Powerful is actually in real 3-D.  If you can still catch the movie in 3-D, it may be worth it.

The only complaint is that I'm not sure how well this movie can stand on its own.  Without its connections to the 1939 original, it's really some good eye-candy with an average plot.  It relies heavily in duping the audience, but then makes the mistake of having the characters duped as well, when ... if you think about it ... they must be really stupid, because how on earth could they not know that stuff?  Watch the movie, and then think about it.  There's even one revelation where a certain character acts one way before ... as if not knowing what's going on, and then immediately after the revelation, acts as if he knew the whole time.  Ooops.

Still, it's worth watching.  I recommend it for the whole family.

1 comment:

Dan O. said...

I think that the problem most people might have with the movie is that there aren't as much references to the original Wizard of Oz movie as one might expect. Legally, they can’t, but they still throw some stuff in there every once and awhile and that was worth a fun watch. Good review Mel.